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Kategori: the guide

New Zealand

For more posts/tips check out NZ under categories

It's time for the New Zealand guide! Since I went with Kiwi Experience this is going to be entirely from that perspective since I only saw the things where the bus took me.  This is something I recommend if you are travelling by yourself. You will meet a BUNCH of people, have an awesome guide and get to know/see practically everything and you get it for a really good price if you book in the right time. If you are more people though, maybe a camper van is more beneficial. 

 

 

Auckland

 

 

My two days in the city was enough. One day at a museum and the next walking up on Mt. Eden. I really recommend doing the later one. It was a spectacular view from that mountain. Eat lunch in Eden Village. A cute little road with mixed food places. The main street is called Queen Street, this is where you will find all the shops and my new favourite a second hand shop. You can find vintage brands for like 15-20 NZ dollars. 

 

 

Paihia

 

Two days as enough here as well. I recommend walking or taking the ferry to other side. This to see NZ first capital - Russell. Its an old village with really cute houses and good restaurants. The second day I would recommend going up to NZ most north point - Cape Reinga. Where you can see two seas meet, andboard and see a beautiful lighthouse.

 

 

Hot Water Beach

 

Just like the name, this is a beach where you can dig your own hotpool. Basically the only thing there actually. Just bring a spade and think of both the tide and that may be alot of people there. You can also take a short drive to Cathedral Cove, where many movies are set. Its beautiful down there;

 

 

 

Waitomo

 

Yet another city where the only thing to see are the glowworms. Really cool and can really recommend it. They have a bunch of tours but I recommend the boat one if you dont want to get wet and cold. Otherwise there are some where you can get up close and float around in the lakes in the caves. there are also some treks or walks around the area where you can see the old gold mines from the gold rush times. 

 

 

Rotorua

 

HOBBITON of course. Well its actually on the way over to Rotorua. There are also a bunch of mud pools to visit (therefore the smell). And if you want to learn more abot the Maori Culture go visit the Tamaki Maori Village. Either for an overnight stay or for dinner. 

 

 

Taupo

 

This is one of the biggest cities on the northern island. There is an actual civilisation here. The lake is huge (actually the size of Singapore and a crater). But I think the main point of coming here is to do one of most beautiful treks in the world. Yup, its 19km long and you can also climb a volcano (Mt. Doom). Would never do it again because it was a MASSIVE thing. But dont regret doing it *clapping myself on the shoulder*. It takes a whole day and is exhausting but its beautiful.

There are also som hot springs/spaas around the area, the popular Huka Falls and a big Redwood forest, so check them out too! 

 

 

River Valley

 

This isn'r really a popular and well-known place. Its basically just a farm down in a valley. This is where the countries best river raftning is though, and they have some really good horse-back riding. Its simply a hide-away. So pretty too and make sure to order the roast. They have it every night and it is the best one ever.

 

Wellington

 

The windy capital. You are supposed to be able to see orcas in the harbour. More to do is go see Te Papa. A great museum, probably the best ever. Check out Cuba Street, where you can find all kinds of shops and restaurants. See a game at the stadium and go up to the city's look out spot. It is supposed to magnificent. 

 

Over to the South Island

 

The only way to get over is to take the ferry to Picton, which took about 3 hours. Costs about 55 NZ follars. May be more expensive since I got a discount from traveling with Kiwi. 

 

Kaiteriteri

 

A little city just a while from Picton. A perfect place to see seals and other wild-life as well as taking long walks. This place is one of my favourites from the trip. 

 

Westport

 

On the way over to Westport we passed Lake Rotoroa. A popular place to go, simply cause its beautiful ith the mountains and the jetty. Otherwise in Westport there isn't much to do. We simply just surfed and went to the local pub.

 

Mahinapua

 

So in actual Mahinapua there isn't much. It's mainly for people traveling with Kiwi Experience. We got to stay at a pub/hostel nearby a lake with the same name. Where we had a custome party, which was so much fun. Otherwise there is on the way over to Franz Josef the well-known Pancakes Rocks. So ahve a walk around there and see the beautiful nature. 

 

 

Franz Josef

 

Mainly the place where you pay for going up and see/walk on the glaciers. It costs about 400 NZ dollars. I recommend going up there since these glaciers are disappearing really fast. Although there is a 60% risk that you wont be able to do since of the weather so you might have to stay a couple of extra nights. You can also, from what I've heard walk up a bit on you own. Obviously not to the top but a small way up. But don't trust me, this is jsut what I've heard. So make sure to look it up beforehand!!!

 

 

Wanaka

 

Traveling from Franz Josef to Wanaka you will pass by the Mirror Lake. I was there when it was bad eather thereby bad pictures. But it was still pretty amazing, it as so pretty. 

You will also pass by a waterfall (see pictures) and a beautiful beach, where if good weather you can see dolphins. After that you will pass this lake. Where you will want to stop every minute because its simply just breathtaking. 

While at Wanaka (what many people call miniature Queenstown) I recommend getting some take out and eat it down by the lake. Or even take a small run/walk around the lake. 

 

 

Queenstown

 

The capital of Adrenalin. Recomend doing the bungee jump, since it was inventend here basically (!!!). The nightlife is also rally good, since many are having their last nights here or are jsut backpackers looking for some fun. Eat at Fergburger and wander around is all I can recommend actually.

Right outside of Queenstown there is a market (first picture) where they grow their own fruits and make their own wine. Really recommend going there to get some snacks and to support the locals.

 

 

Lake Tekapo

 

The city in the world where you can see the stars the best. Which is true casue the sky was simply amazing when the sun went down. Go up to Mt. Jon, you may seem them the best up there. Also there is this lake which is just breathtaking and the Church of the Good Shepher, right next to lake. 

 

 

Christchurch

My last stop on my trip. And a short one as well. I don't really recommend staying here for more than a day. There isn't much to do or see here. All I can recommend is wandering around and seeing the art, ruins from earthquakes and the botanical garden, as well as places of memory for those who died in the 2011 earthquake.

 

 

To think about

Eat at burgerfuel, almost better burgers than at Fergburger. 

There is free wi-fi at every i-site, libraries, museums and most of the cafees. I amde it 3 weeks without paying for wi-fi. 

Almost every city is linked with one or multiple hiking/walking trails to the nature. So there is always something to do. 

Cookie Time was over-hyped to be honest. 

Most of the cities in NZ are empty, the same amount living in Auckland live on the South Island, haha. 

If hostels offer food that is cooked AT the hostel, pay for it. Especially if its roast. We payed for it two or three times and it was the best meals I've had. 

 Take out as much cash as you can, cause they charge about 2% everytime you use your card. 

Don't take the views for granted, you are going to miss them when you leave. 

Eat Feijoas. I think they are only available in NZ. A mixture between passionfruit and fig.

The bakeries have the best and cheapest bread and pastries. 

 

 

 

Updated 27th of October, 2016

the east coast

For more tips/posts check out AUS under categories 
 
Melbourne
 
So me and my friend started in Melbourne. Due to jetlag and the thought that there was nothing to do in Melbourne, we didn’t really see much. Not even the 12 apostles sine none of us were able to rent a car. But I went back to experience Melbourne again and got another view of it all, and also got to see the 12 apostles. So here are my tips;
 
1. Walk the city, like literally. Melbourne CBD isn’t big so you can walk it in less than a day. Take the small alleys instead of the main streets, this is where you are going to see the artsy part of Melbourne.
2. Take a day in St.Kilda. If the weather allows,  go sunbathing/swimming in the day, eat fish and chips for dinner at the beach and watch the magical sunset. Walk over to the penguins (you walk out on a long pier on the middle of the beach) and watch them retreat home after a day at the sea. 
3. Drink hot chocolate at Hash.
4. Go to Carlton Pub, one of the coolest bars I have been to. 
5. Eat diner in Fitzroy, heard the Naked For Satan is to prefer. Cool view over Melbourne. 
6. Rent a car and see the 12 apostels as well as drive on the ocean road. A great day trip and it is plainly AMAZING.
 
 
Sydney
 
Depending on what budget you are on, take the bus for about 60-70 dollars to Sydney. Otherwise the plane is to prefer, easier way but more expensive. We took the night bus so that we didn’t miss a day, the bus takes about 12 hours. 
Sydney was the next destination. We were here a long time so we had the chance to see most of it. At least thats what our guide said to us when we did the Blue Mountains. 
 
1. Go to Blue Mountains! Takes a day and you get to see this beautiful national park. It’s amazing. We went with Colourful Trips. It costed about 110 dollars and it was really really good. Have never experienced a better guide or tour for that matter. The guide knew everything about everything and you really got to experience the maximum. For this price you also got to see and pet a koala, kangaroos and a lot of other native Australian animals. And the lunch, that was amazing. So I recommend this company!
2. Go to Bondi, of course. I recommend going there early and hanging out, have a snack and then start your 6km walk (about 1 1/2-2 hours) to Coogee. It may sound far, but its totally worth it. You see such beautiful surroundings, its fantastic. Do it!
3. Walk from the Botanic Gardens to the Opera House. And then from the Opera house all around up to the Harbour Bridge. I never went up on the Harbour Bridge though but I’ve heard that the view is amazing. So even though I didn’t do it, I recommend you doing it :)
4. Go to Ivy nightclub on a Thursday. Free entrance and everyone is hyped about the weekend. Great atmosphere and a great club. 
5. Go shopping on Pitt Street. Or anywhere around Pitt Street. All the shops are there so enjoy! 
6. You HAVE to go to Pancakes on the Rocks. The best breakfast in town! And of course see The Rocks (its the oldest neighbourhood in Australia)
 
 
Byron Bay

After Sydney we went to a Surf Camp for 5 days. I will write more about that later. After the Surf Camp we hit Byron Bay. We took the train from Sydney for 12 hours to the camp and then got a shuttle bus from the camp to Byron. It took about 2-3 hours.
 
Top places to go in Byron Bay:
1. Take a day to rent a car. Go to one of the falls around Byron Bay. We went to Killen Falls. While we still had the car we went to Nimbin. Nimbin is about an hour from Byron. Basically its just a street filled with New Age and spiritual inspired shops. Here is also where you can pick up something extra….
2. Visit the different beaches around Byron. There may not be many but they are beautiful. We went to the Main beach and Tallow beach. 
3. Pack a picknick and see the sunset from the Lighthouse. 
4. If you want to go out, go to Cheeky Monkey. A pub that turns into an after ski inspired nightclub. Dancing on the tables, games and contests, as well as good music.
 
 
Surfers Paradise
 
To get from Byron, we took a bus for an hour up to Surfers Paradise. Surfers is like a miniature Miami. The nightlife and the amusement parks are the main things to see. Although we may not have gone to an amusement park we went out. 
 
1. At your hotel sign up for the pub crawl. You go with a bunch of other hostels to 5 different clubs in one night. Yeah, expect a big night out. 
2. Therefore the main beach is a great hangover place. Take the day after and get the cure for your hangover on the beach. 
3. Eat at Bettys burgers. Heard that the one in Noosa is to prefer, but still the same burger right?
 
 
Brisbane
 
Brisbane was the next destination! Here we took the public train and bus to get to the pick up place for our camper van. I think it works quite as fine to get into CBD that way as well. First time I was there we didn’t see much. But I have been there a couple of times after that and got a second point a view of the city.
 
1.If you are Swedish and feeling a bit homesick, go to IKEA or visit one of the markets where they sell Swedish candy. 
2. For the fashion person, visit Verge Girl. A great shop where you can find the latest trends as well as vintage and 1970’s inspired clothes. 
3. Ride up to Mt. Coot-Tha and take in the view. 
4. The nightlife is kinda crazy. Head for the Valley and try not to remember the night ;)
 
 
Sunshine Coast
 
I will put Sunshine Coast and Noosa in the same. 
 
1. Visit Noosa national park. Great place to see the nature, spot some koalas, frogs, birds, and if lucky whales and dolphins. 
2. Climb up on Mt. Coolum. Great view and after that take a refreshing swim at Coolum Beach. 
3. Sunshine Plaza is for the people that want to shop. Great range of Australians brands and good place to spend a rainy day. 
4. Visit one of the many beaches that the Sunshine Coast has to offer. 
5. Take a run in one of the neighbourhoods. Since I lived in Sippy Downs for about 3 months and went out for an occasional run, this was the place to go. So pretty and cozy houses and neighbourhoods. And the scenery wow. 
 
 
Cairns
 
Cairns is a small town. I was there for way too long, and I think my liver felt that way too. Because the only thing to do in Cairns is mainly to party and hang by the lagoon. If you do not want to go diving and going on tours in the rainforest. I have also heard the Cape Tribulation is a place to visit. We both didn’t want to go diving, and we didn’t feel like paying for guides in the rainforest as well as not going to Cape Tribulation. Therefore I can’t say much about all of this. Although I do recommend going diving if you want to. Apparently you get to see turtles, occasionally you can see sharks and dolphins. And of course a bunch of reef and fish. Since its the Great Barrier Reef duh. Anyhow, this is what I can recommend to do in Cairns:
 
1. Once again, if you are Swedish and homesick, go to the Swedish cafe. 
2. See the lagoon, its beautiful. 
3. Gilligans nightclub when its packes, is a great night out. 
4. The greek restaurant next to Gilligans is for real to die for. The best place. 
5. Rent a car and go to the popular Herbal Essence Falls. It was stunning. Or any other waterfall for that matter.
 
 
The Must Do's
 
Fraser Island and Whitsundays are both places you can go by yourself if you would like. But I strongly recommend going with a guide. You get to meet new people and get to experience most of the trip. We went with Pippies to Fraser and OzSail Avatar to Whitsundays. I recommend both tours with all my heart. Simply the best. Best guides and got everything out from both trips. 
 
Smaller Places
 
We want to small places on the east coast. Like our surf camp close to Coffs Harbour and also Agnes Water, Rainbow Beach, Townsville and Airlie Beach. Small towns, not much to do but here is what got me loving the places. 
 
Agnes Water -  The beach is cozy and the hostel we stayed at was the best. 
Rainbow Beach - Not much at all to see, but the pizza there was really good, also I heard that you should see the sunset from the sand hill. Didn’t have a chance to go there but go there if you can!
Townsville - Go to Castle Hill. One of my favourite views in the world. It was so pretty. 
Airlie Beach - Basically a small summer town that looks like Croatia. Beautiful. See the lagoon and go make your own ice cream at Cold Rocks Ice Creamery. 
 
 
We had a camper van most of the trip, but staying at hostels was a lot of fun. Especially when you and all your friends are there. I recommend staying at a hostel where you know it is going to be a party and where most backpackers are. For example Nomads has a reputation to be a party hostel. Therefore more backpackers stay there and therefore you will meet more people. So check out the different hostels and go for the ones that most backpackers stay at. I strongly recommend, Nomads in Melbourne and Airlie Beach. Gilligans in Cairns or Global. In Byron YHA was great but I heard the Arts Factory is where you should stay. Budds in Surfers was really good, or the hostel itself wasn’t really the best. But we meet a lot of people and it was a great party hostel. 
 
 
To think about
There are toilets provided all over Australia. Public and free ones. And most of them are very nice and clean. They are usually around the beaches. 
Food is overall more expensive I would say. Especially vegetables and fruit. Try to find farmer markets, they are quite easy to find. 
Meat is better and cheaper. 
Australians will always greet you and ask you how you are doing. I have come to learn that it is a rhetorical question, unless you want to have a chat. Overall australians are very friendly and don’t be surprised if a stranger starts talking to you. 
I’m used to roads with more than one lane outside the city centre and there to be more “security”, like fences and lower speed. So get used to the roads being crooked and oblique. The roads kind of tilt as well and they have a high speed with no fence in the middle. 
Oh yeah australians love their so called barbie (BBQ). There are barbies practically everywhere. An easy way to cook your dinner
They call McDonalds Maccas, Even Maccas call themselves Maccas. 
If you are under 21 and need to rent a car, Jucy is the place to go. They rent out cars to people under 21. Otherwise its quite impossible to rent a car. I’ve heard that Firefly rent out to people who are 20 and older. 
Internet is not Australias thing. Or technology overall is like 10 years behind America. So be prepared for it. 
Either if you start in Melbourne, Sydney or Cairns, you are going to meet the people you met once, a bunch of times all through the east coast. So keep in contact, you never know what will happen next! I met people in Surfers that I didn’t think I would meet again, ever, but met them in Cairns my last week. Same goes for people I met at the surf camp, met them 3 times after that. 
 
Foods to eat while you are in Australia
You HAVE to eat TimTams if you love chocolate
The “Australian” hot dog is hard to miss if you are going to a BBQ. White bread, hot dog, onion and ketchup. 
Chicken Salt. Buy fries and ask them to put it on them. An amazing spice.
Eagle Boys or Dominos. Since we don’t have these in Sweden I have come to love them. 
Maccas loaded fries. Don’t think they have them anywhere else.
Try the different pies. Aussies are crazy about them.
 
 
Updated 11th of May 2016
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